MID-MICHIGAN, (WJRT) — As the warm weather causes more drivers to hit the sidewalk for weekend trips, road closures and orange barrels are on their route.
According to the Michigan Department of Transportation, there are more than 30 construction projects underway in the Bay Area area, making getting around a bit difficult.
“We will have an additional $3.5 billion going into our construction program,” said Jocelyn Garza, communications officer for the MDOT Bay Region. “Of course, this means that the number of projects has increased. And then we also had some projects that were delayed for a number of reasons, mostly related to COVID restrictions.”
Garza says that after months of labor and supply shortages that caused these delays, a number of projects have been launched and still have a long way to go.
With more drivers now taking advantage of spring and summer getaways, planning to avoid closures and find the best detour is crucial.
“People have the opportunity to see in advance what construction projects might be coming their way. And those sometimes change from week to week,” she said.
For years, MDOT’s number one initiative has always been safety for construction workers and drivers. Elevated worker zones require drivers to take extra precautions.
“Obviously limit eliminating distractions completely, so don’t use your phone, don’t play the radio, don’t eat while driving, and such things, all of which are tremendously helpful in helping you navigate a regular road.” ‘ Garza said.
And not only to avoid injuries, but also to keep traffic moving.
“We have thousands of drivers on the road, some of them transporting RVs, some of them transporting boats, so if we can eliminate accidents on the roads near these work zones, it creates a huge congestion problem,” she said.
To better plan their journeys, drivers can visit the MI Drive website to find the best route and learn where construction work may be taking place on their journey.